'The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because He loves what is behind him.' -G. K. Chesterton

07 December 2012

Reloading, It's Not Just For Making Ammunition

There are a lot of tributes to the men and women who died on this day 71 years ago. I chose a different way to honor them and their sacrifice on the altar of freedom. Today I exercised that liberty they bought with such dear coin.

This is my reloading/gunsmithing bench. It's not nearly as nice as some but has the advantage of being cheap. Lu and I picked it up out of the scrap left over when the 7th ID moved out of Ft Ord. It's big, heavy and sturdy. I like it and it tickles me to have a piece of my old division with me. That's my RCBS single stage over there on the right. A progressive press is on my Badly Want list. Someday. It's not tidy but it is cozy and inviting. A good place to while away a few hours in quiet work and peaceful contemplation.

One of my pet loads for my Redhawk. It's stout but not too much so as I'm shooting hard lead bullets and lead deposits in the barrel are no fun to clean out. If you look closely you can see a recipe for 225 grain JHP at the bottom of the load info. I used both today.

I loaded one hundred fifty 240 grain lead SWC and one hundred 225 grain JHP. Practice and Make My Day. Ammunition by Six.

I love creating my own ammunition. I can tailor it for anything I want it to do. It's inexpensive, once the capitol outlay is paid for, and makes me feel connected to my spiritual ancestors. It's a Zen hobby. One that requires both careful attention to detail and an ability to do repetitious work over and over again. There's a mental aspect as well. Figuring out loads and combinations. Adjusting dies so they're operating exactly as you need them. Powders, primers, cases, bullets. Cleaning and lubing and inspecting.

It's also a truly American pastime. A statement of Liberty and a renunciation of the culture of dependence. It's kicking sand in the face of the bully and telling him to take his best shot. Here resides a free man. As long as my supplies hold out I can never be starved of the fuel of Liberty.

Then there's the moment you touch off the first round from a new batch. Will it even fire? How will it perform? Listening and feeling for the miniscule Pop of the hated squib or the mammoth BOOM of the dreaded double powder load. And the smile and thrill when it goes as planned and the new rounds both fire as expected and perform as hoped. Yeah, reloading is awesome and exciting.

What's next on the list for the Six bench? Maybe some 44-40 for Lu's beloved Vaquero. Some 45 LC for my Blackhawk? I'm running a little light on both 300 Win Mag and 30-30. Hmmm.

Ah, I know.


You all have a great weekend. I'll be in the man cave making a new batch of Freedom.



Keads said...

Very, very nice! I have not had the *cough* Hornady press running in a while. You have humbled me to do so!

TinCan Assassin said...

I just cast up and assembled a box of .45ACP this evening. Very relaxing.

I use a Lee Hand Press, a bench mount is on my want list.

Scott McCray said...

Just getting started on my setup - in this case a temporary cover for my kitchen table at my apartment home away from home. (I don't want to buy the table when I finally get to move back home!)

I still need to get the press tuned up to go - but all the goodies are standing by for me to get my act together. A new batch of Freedom, indeed.

Murphy's Law said...

I just finished a thousand rounds of .40 S&W and am now also planning on running some .45/70 smokeless loads. GMTA!

Paladin said...

Yet another on my list of things to get started on.

Four Birthdays in our Family this month + Christmas... so maybe early next year? The "initial capital" is the only thing standing in the way. Always seems like something else comes up, you know?

Old NFO said...

I TRULY wish I could reload, but not where I'm currently living... sigh...

agirlandhergun said...


I love how much meaning you see in things. Makes me feel less goofy that I do.

It's reloading which is great on its own, but it's so much more than that.

Six said...

Good for you Kelly. Not that you're busy with other stuff or anything!

I started with a Lee hand press for my 44 Mag. Lot of reloads with that little beauty!

I think doing the initial set up may be as much fun as the actual reloading Scott. Then when everything is just so you get to create!

ML you are so far out of my league. 1000 rounds? You are The Man!

Life does come first Paladin. Though with your skills I expect you could probably make a press out of scrap!

It's Ok NFO. You'll always have room at my bench!

Thanks Girl. You are anything but goofy. You're an inspiration to a lot of us, including this broke down old soldier.